Archive for the Category » Hanson «

Hanson Wintry Mix Tour

I had fully intended to make these separate posts, but now that all the shows have come and gone and I couldn’t find the time to make separate posts I will just include them all here.  (Keeping up with work, grad school, a Hanson fan site and my own shows I am attending proved to be a bit difficult this time around.)

So the theme of this tour is that it would be a “Wintry Mix” – ie, new songs, old songs and Christmas songs.  The guys have a new album due in 2020 called “Against the World” and this tour would preview some of those songs for us.  I had wanted to hit up the first show of the tour to not have to deal with any sort of setlist spoilers (when you run a setlist fan site you can’t just not post them until you get to a show) but while it was over Thanksgiving break and would have required 0 vacation days – the cost of flying across the country to Seattle & Vancouver was a bit excessive when I’d be (hopefully) hearing the same songs later so my crew ended up deciding we would do Texas – they continued on to New Orleans but I was out of PTO 🙁  I also hit up some of the east coast shows as well.

Austin

We kicked up our trip to Austin with some BBQ from the Salk Lick that was really good!  Then we headed to the Capitol Building and toured around a bit.  We were going to explore a bit more but one of the group had an incident with laughing (I won’t name any names) so we headed back to the hotel room before going to Torchy’s Tacos for dinner.  The rest of the crew ended up camping out and I hung back at the hotel working on homework and watching Fuller House. (And jumping on the bed all I wanted.)  Sunday most of the day was spent in line.  I was let in first with ADA and stood in the front at the barricade for about 2 minutes before realizing there was NO WAY I could stand through 2 openers and all of Hanson’s set and not totally ruin myself for the rest of the month so I asked for a chair.  Everyone else was right up front though!! And even my seat wasn’t too far back, but with no raised area once Hanson came on I had to stand if I wanted to see much of anything, so I alternated depending on how much I liked the song.  I got 3 new songs – Don’t Ever Change, Annalie and One (Zac’s solo).  It’s always hard to judge how much you like a song when you’ve heard it for the first time in a live setting – but I really liked One (and can’t even tell you why – the piano? the lyrics? who knows!) and Annalie was SUPER catchy.  Don’t Ever Change came too early in the set for me and I had gotten a text the *moment* the guys took the stage that threw me a bit.  So I’d have to wait for Dallas to make further judgement on that song.  After the show we were able to get photos with Zac and a group photo with Isaac who had somewhere to be.  Taylor never came out.  We headed to In-N-Out (Why is most of this trip going to be scrapbook pages of food?) and off to Dallas.

Dallas

We rolled into Dallas about 4am with me driving the last leg as I had gotten the most sleep not on a sidewalk the night before.  Driving while the rest of the car is all asleep and you could easily be next was certainly a challenge, but I did it. (And when the construction made the road go over a rumble strip everyone woke up “KATIE! Are you OK!?” Yes, yes, the road just shifted and they didn’t patch the strip. Go back to sleep…) We dropped off half the crew at the venue and the rest of us went to the hotel.  For lunch we got some tex mex and then some booze infused popsicles. We also took the drive that JFK took when he was assassinated.  I have to say, the grassy knoll was not at ALL what I was expecting? When I came home and told my Mom she said she had gone by it as well on her trip there and thought the same thing. I’m not sure what I was expecting, exactly, but that wasn’t it.

For this show we had a balcony seat! Wooo. We got repeats of Don’t Ever Change and Annalie – I am all in on Annalie but still a little on the fence about Don’t Ever Change at this point.  Zac switched his solo from One to Better Man and I like it, but I prefer One.  So now I am up to 4 new songs!  Taylor once again did Crazy Beautiful as his solo and my favorite part of that song is when we get to clap, which he doesn’t do with the solo so it was definitely a wasted opportunity two nights in a row when I could have heard the new song that he had done earlier in the tour. (Never to be done again. *tear*)  After we waited by the bus again, Isaac and Zac came out but getting to the barricade was not going to be easy so we didn’t bother. We had hoped to catch Taylor, but instead just saw him driving away.. in a winnebago.  I managed to get maybe 3 hours of sleep before flying home and having to work for half of the day.  Whew. Exhausted didn’t even begin to cover it.

 

Uncasville

The Uncasville show was… weird.  This is the venue where I see 90% of my shows each year. At capacity, it holds 10k people. I am not sure they sold all of the tickets that could have been available, but they also gave out a lot to radio station listeners and high rollers (We at one point had 4 pairs to choose from.) While they were kind of sort of billing this as part of the tour, it was probably just so that the date would make it on the shirts and hoodies for sale than anything else.  I was antsy because I had a Yule Ball to get to after the show (and came in my dress!) and was hoping they would have been on before Andy Grammer and weren’t.  The crowd was mixed – Isaac called them out for not singing along during This Time Around which was pretty shocking.  They did seem to win everyone over from MMMBop til the end – and as I was leaving the concourse there were a lot of people obnoxiously singing the chorus to MMMBop.  Probably one of the more bizarre Hanson shows I had been to and kind of a bummer it was my home state show but I am hoping this will give them some backing to come back on the full tour as they haven’t done a tour show here since 2011…

 

Silver Spring

Silver Spring… I have spent 5 days in the air this year which means I have also spent a lot of time with TSA.  None of their searches have been as thorough as what we had to go through to get into this venue.  He opened everything I had in my purse – my ear plugs containers, my bag of feminine products… ID’ed my prescription drugs (and made my friend toss hers because they were not in the script bottles  – but assured us even though it was illegal he wasn’t going to have her arrested) and had to call over back up to make sure the tiny screwdriver I carry to fix the screw in my brace would be allowed in. (Thankfully it was) But note to self – if they go back there again bring a clear stadium bag with ONLY the necessities because 30 mins to get through security is effing ridiculous…

The ADA at this venue is hit or miss. Usually we are closer to the center but this time got bumped due to 2 wheelchairs so if I opted to not stand I couldn’t see past the girls on the side balcony who were standing. (Another note to self – get VIP balcony or do the balcony upgrade next time)  Nothing new with this setlist but Isaac did do a solo and the setlist said it would be new but it was… hand in hand. Meh.  I am fully hooked on Annalie and Zac did a repeated new solo with Better Man.  This is why he is my favorite. Rotating out the new songs for the solos!!   They also put Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in the break during If Only and then sang Happy Birthday to Kevin. Whoever that is.

After the show we waited by the bus for 2 hours and nothing!  It was even snowing at one point.  I think this was the only show the whole tour none of the guys came out – after all of them had the night before. Boo Hiss. (A tweet would have been nice. just saying)

 

Boston

Ah Boston. I had bought 2 seats to this show and ended up selling one – and the one I sold was the wrong one, I think.  I couldn’t make it up in time to go to the Members Only Event (but I don’t think I missed much) and got there when Mac’s set had already started.  I drove into Boston all by myself and as I was texting a friend to let her know I made it, the girl behind me dumped like 3/4 of her beer ALL OVER ME.  Fantastic.  Something told me to put a tshirt on under my sweater that morning, but I didn’t and only had on a tank top underneath so I figured I’d freeze with just a tank on.  What is it about shows I over come anxiety to drive to alone and getting beer dumped on me? I don’t know

New songs – we got Against the World – which was my 300th unique Hanson song heard live. Woo! It was acoustic and I am still on the fence about it. I need a studio version. Or to hear it a few more times.  Taylor had 2 more shows to redeem himself and bring back Serious Woman, but he did A Song to Sing. It was really, really good and unexpected so I feel like a brat being annoyed about it. But I kind of am.  For the encore Paul and Joshua and the Holy Rollers came out and sang Run Rudolph Run with the guys which was a lot of fun!

After the show I opted to not wait by the bus and Zac was putting his luggage back underneath the bus as I drove by!  Like the 5 cars in front of me all pulled off to the side and everyone jumped out, but I don’t think he ended up coming back by to sign. (I believe Isaac did though)

 

Huntington

Last show of the tour! Nothing new for me this show either (so my total was 5 for the tour) but it was also my 50th time hearing I Was Born which is kind of ridiculous considering it is only 2 years old…  Once again they did Against the World and had the openers join them for Run Rudolph Run.  This was also the first show where all 3 did solos – and only Zac did something new, Taylor and Isaac both repeated with A Song to Sing and Hand in Hand.

After the show we opted to wait again for someone to come out and were successful in getting photos and brief chat with Zac, then the van picked him up and they all left.

On the way home, I pulled over at a rest stop to play HQ after dark and then decided since I didn’t really have dinner, I’d grab some McDonalds – only to have myself scarred for life as a woman’s ass was facing me in the drive through lane and she was peeing.  She must’ve been beyond drunk as it was *freezing* out and the rest stop WITH TOILETS was a mere 10 foot walk away… I am not sure if the image will ever be removed from my brain 🙁

Overall it was a fun tour – I didn’t end up with any new states but I did end up with a new city (Austin) and was excited for them to play CT again!! I am pretty impressed with most of the new stuff and very much so looking forward to 2020 and the new album and new tour and no new children!
Category: Concert, Hanson  One Comment

Hanson in Anderson, IN

This year Hanson have been doing a lot of “one-off” shows – as in a show here and there in a (seemingly) random location and not as a part of  a full tour.  They all seemed to be at casinos too, but that’s the norma for me with 2 of our major concert venues being in casinos here.  But this casino had one of the weirdest set ups and seating charts I think I’ve ever seen.  Turns out, one of my friends had gone to college in Anderson, IN and I had spent the night in IN once but wasn’t counting it as a state I had visited and had that Friday off work so we made a deal that if we could get tickets in one of three rows in the center section, we’d go.  Somehow after we probably should have given up with a nightmare of a presale I came through and gotten 4 seats in our 3rd choice row.  The venue is usually used for viewing horse races so the stage was only really close to a couple of sections but the room was VERY wide.

I left most of the planning to my friend as she was familiar with the area. I got picked up at the airport and we headed to The Lemon Drop a little hole in the wall burger joint for lunch. They had a train going around and a weird message on their sign outside that took us WAY too long to realize what they meant. We hung out at our hotel for a bit, drove around the campus of her college (that took about 5 minutes lol) and decided to head to the casino.  I played for maybe 30 mins and only lost $5 so not all bad.   Then it was finally show time…

Our seats were 7th row, but there was an aisle between us and the rows in front of us.  Now that Zac has taken over as front man for the time being, he has been walking through the crowd playing cowbell – I figured this would be the perfect spot for if that happened – and sure enough during Fired Up he walked right past! (And wasn’t too far away when he did a second lap as well)   I seemed to figure out the perfect set up for this show since I had no chair in front of me to hold on to – I stood for 30 mins, sat for 30 mins (where I could still see Taylor most of the time) and then rocked out for the last 30 minutes!  It was a really fun show!

After the show we were going to go to a 24 hour donut shop because before the show, post show donuts seemed like a GREAT idea.  After the show though… real food seemed like a better idea.  I guess Hanson had the same idea because as I marched into the restaurant excited to see they had a TouchTunes jukebox, I was stopped in my tracks when I spotted that Isaac, Taylor & Crew were *also* there.  We had some secondhand embarrassment when the jukebox started playing MMMBop (turns out it was the manager on duty who did it!) but we took over and played some *NSYNC, Aqua, and Jon McLaughlin (who is from Anderson!)  We were going to just leave them alone, but as they were leaving even the restaurant staff was asking for photos so we figured we might as well join in.

Saturday we finally hit up the donut place, went to Muncie for some Thai and then the campus coffee shop. Then it was time for me to head back to the airport for my whirlwind trip to come to an end.  But I added a new state AND discovered Airport Sherpa at BWI which is *amazing* I usually don’t eat because lugging my stuff through the airport to find a place to eat can be difficult. With Airport Sherpa, you pick one of the airport restaurant that is partnered with them, and for a delivery fee, someone picks up the meal and brings it to you.  GAME. CHANGER. (Z896987K is my referral code if you want to give it a go! I am not sure where it is at other than BWI at the moment but I do hope it expands!)

But it was a great trip, I hit my 3rd new state for the year (I had 2 each of the past 2 years) and I am now at 27/50 and I think 23 or 24 that I have seen Hanson in!

Category: Concert, Hanson  Comments off

Hanson at Caesars

At the end of October, Hanson played a show in Atlantic City. This was my 209th Hanson show, but probably one of the most different shows I had seen!  A few weeks before the show, Zac was in a motorcycle accident and broke several bones, leaving him in a sling and unable to play the drums.  Rather than canceling the show, they had Dash Hutton come along to play the drums and put Zac center stage to sing, play tambourine and rock out on cowbell.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but Zac gave it his all and was having a blast! He even walked through the crowd playing cowbell during a song! (And dropped his mic during a song as well!)  The setlist was pretty similar to what they have been playing recently – but switched out Juliet (where Zac sings lead and played piano) for one of my favorites, Musical Ride, where Zac sing lead (and usually drums).  I am not sure if Zac will be up front or not for my next show next week, but the sling is gone and it seems like my December shows will have things back to normal  – but I’m not sure I am ready to give up on the fun that is Zac as the frontman so soon!

Category: Concert, Hanson  Comments off

Hawaii!

When Hanson announced they were doing a show in Hawaii, I knew I had to go, even if I had to race back after the show for a personal commitment the following weekend. A few friends also were in on the trip so we booked an Airbnb and all were coming in and leaving on different days. I found a decently priced flight from JFK that was direct and about 10 hours. I opted for the cheaper economy seat, but wasn’t a fan of having my backpack under my feet the whole trip and decided to rethink that for the way home.

When I landed, I had to wait for my rollator (my first time traveling with it) and someone came with a wheelchair and then left when I said I was waiting for the walker. By the time it came, everyone else was long gone and I had no idea where I was going. Turns out they have shuttles but I completely missed that and started walking. I had plenty of time to kill as 2 friends were off on a tour and the other friend didn’t land for another couple of hours, so whenever I got to the Airbnb I got there. And then a guy came up and asked if he could help me. I told him no, I was fine (I had my backpack on and carry on sitting on the seat of the walker and was perfectly ok with that set up and had made it through JFK no problem that way earlier) but he insisted – and grabbed the bag off my walker to help me. Then tried telling me I needed to go with him to Kona. Fortunately he was walking at my pace and I was trying to figure out how to outsmart him because there was no way I’d physically be able to get my bag back from him. We wandered around for a bit – I kept telling him I was ok and he could go to security for his flight, but he kept saying no and asking me the same questions over and over “Where are you from?” “Do you live here?” his name was Joey and he was from Alaska and he was DRUNK. Which made me a little bit at ease because I could totally outsmart a drunk guy. Finally he asked security where there was an elevator and I must’ve had a look on my face that showed him that I was in distress because HE told the guy to give me my back and let me get on the elevator and that where he needed to go was elsewhere. We finally got out of the elevator and I started walking for a taxi only to find out Uber/Lyft were on the next level up, Joey saw me looking at a sign and came back out towards me but I booked it to the elevator and got away from him. My favorite was when he asked me if I had added him on Facebook yet. My phone has been hiding in my pocket this entire time and all I know is your first name and what state you are from – and now I am not getting to add my attempted kidnapper as a friend.

Tuesday another group of friends were coming in and the rest went to hike a waterfall, so I spent half the day getting acquainted with our AirBnB. I went to meet them to get added as a driver to the rental car – even though I wasn’t sure my plan to head off anywhere alone was going to happen because Joey had ruined that for me. We were hoping to head to a beach to see the sunset, but somehow a quick trip to the parking garage to drop the car off turned into a 2 hour saga that fortunately had a happy ending. We finished the day with birthday sushi – and I tried a couple pieces of tuna and enjoyed it. (But had rice for the majority of my meal)

Wednesday was our big day and when we woke up to see it was raining we were very concerned about our luau that evening. We headed off to breakfast of malasadas (if youre going to try a filled one – be very careful as they SQUIRT! We learned that one the hard way) which is a Portuguese donut. They weren’t bad but I’m not sure it was what we were expecting. (Fillings were a bit bland.) Then we got to Pearl Harbor where I fell in a puddle and the guy who helped me up felt the need to touch my butt. (This trip wasn’t shaping out to be very great so far) It was raining, but we were able to get on the boat and see the Arizona Memorial which had just re-opened earlier in the month. As soon as you entered you could smell the oil still leaking out of the ship. We googled and apparently it had been filled with 1.5 million gallons the day before the attack and leaks approximately 9 quarts a day – so 77 years later it is still leaking. I think that was just the most amazing/shocking thing. My (very tired) Math is telling me that it will leak for 1800 years following the attack.
Then it was time to get ready for our luau. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect and was told the food is just so-so at any of them. The Paradise Cove luau we chose seemed to have a nice location, a lot of pre-show activities and the food was not bad either! It was just sooooooooooo hot! But eventually the sun went down, the pig got roasted and we were able to eat and enjoy the show. It was a lot of fun!
Thursday morning I went to the pool, the Hard Rock Café (and got my largest hard rock bear to date) and then a dole whip! I also splurged and bought myself a plumeria ring. I headed back to the room, showered and went to hang out in line for the Hanson show. The venue said they could hold 1200 and 500 tickets were sold – but I snagged a spot in the back by the soundboard and it definitely seemed a lot more packed than that! (Although many cleared out once they played MMMBop!) The venue even had special Hanson in Hawaii posters – they were just giving away! So cool! The show was a typical festival set, but it was high energy and a lot of fun. After the show Taylor had an after party – where we mostly just hung out on a couch and people watched. After we had an after after party and ate some pizza rolls we had bought on a Costco run. Best idea ever? Best idea ever.
The next day I had to leave – my flight took off at 3pm Hawaii time and landed at 7am NYC time – and then I had to be off to a benefit that started at 10am. (Which I was 2 hours later for but it’s all good because I made it) I also saw that Pete Alonso tied the rookie HR record just before I boarded the flight so that was exciting – even if there were no Mets hats to be found. (Lots of Yankees though. Ughh.)

Category: Concert, Hanson, Travel  Comments off

Hanson DE&MD

Mid-August Hanson played in Delaware and Maryland. For the Delaware show we opted to go VIP and get seats at the front of the balcony, which were right in the center and awesome! For Maryland we were also front row but as this was a fair show and people felt they were entitled to be closer than their purchased seats, it was not so awesome! The setlists were just varied enough – a mix of the hits and some other favorites – typical of a non tour “one-off” show. These were shows 206 and 207 for me and they are always just as fun. (Except for when I fall and want to sit most of the show, but can’t see, despite having a front row seat. Yeah maybe I’m a little bitter.) Security in MD did try to clear people out – but they kept coming back and clearly were not prepared for Hanson fans. In DE – there were rumors Ryan Phillipe may be in attendance – we may have seen a guy with 3 security guards around him on the balcony leave after a couple of songs – but can’t be sure whether or not it was him. (And based on how many times we thought we ‘saw Taylor’ and it was not even close when we got closer to the person – I don’t trust any of our vision.) We did meet Taylor after a show (the real one, not a look a like) so I was able to get my message to him from Joe Jonas about the beer – of course he told me now I needed to get him Joe’s address. I refuse to be a go between but I did my part and tweeted Joe because I don’t know what else to do because I am not paying $500+ to meet him again!!
I’m not sure what there is to say more about a Hanson show I haven’t already said… (at least until there is new music to be had!) so here are some photos!

Category: Concert, Hanson  Comments off

Basilica Block Party & Minneapolis

In mid-July I headed to Minnesota to cross a new state off my list and also to check out the Basilica Block Party.  Friday was the first night and we considered that our dress rehearsal for Saturday night when Hanson and Jason Mraz would be performing.  My friend that I went with was volunteering Friday so I was on my own for the show – and turns out I really was on my own because even though I made my way to the ADA section (via police escort. Long story.) no one ended up showing up to join me until near the very end of the show!   Each night I stayed at the Great Clips stage all afternoon/evening even though there were some great bands on the other stages as well. There never was a band that I had hoped would get off stage, the level of talent was all pretty great. (Although Johnny Swim teasing they’d perform all night when I knew Hanson was going to be coming up next did make me a bit anxious lol)  On Friday the lineup was Ruston Kelly, Anderson East, Dawes and Kacey Musgraves. I actually spotted Taylor and Isaac Hanson watching during Dawes set – turns out Zac was there too but I never did get a glimpse of him. The second night the lineup was Lissie, JohnnySwim, Hanson and Jason Mraz closed out the night.

In addition to the Block Party – I also got to try my first “Jucy Lucy” at Matt’s Bar and hit up the Mall of America!

 

Setlists that are available from the block party:

Category: Concert, Hanson  Comments off

Hanson at MGM Springfield

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Hanson would be doing a show at the new MGM Springfield Casino in Springfield, MA.  Initially there was some confusion with whether the show was going to be June 8 or 15th, but fortunately for me, it ended up being the 8th.  I contacted them about ADA seating and was told I would be taken care of when I got there.  When we arrived we were given VIP wristbands so we would get in early and were told there were seats in the back.  There ended up being a VIP pit that was way too big for the amount of VIP tickets there actually were, so we decided to stand in there so I could hold on rather than go to the back.  It was really weird to be standing in essentially a giant “hole” in the middle of the crowd and I can’t even imagine what it looked like from the stage to Hanson.

The guys took the stage at 8:01 and played for roughly 90 minutes with a high energy set of the singles and crowd favorites.  The crowd seemed really into it, and I guess a bit rowdy as well as I overheard several arguments and heard about someone getting punched too. Yikes!

Even with it being pretty darn hot for a June evening, the show was a ton of fun and the outdoor venue at MGM Springfield is pretty nice.

Category: Concert, Hanson  Comments off

SPARC Live Art: Family

Last year Jason Mraz released a documentary and in it he showed a bit of his time with SPARC and their Live Art show which features kids of all abilities.  I thought this was absolutely amazing and said that I wanted to go and check it out one year.  Well, this year they asked Hanson to be a part of it so that settled things – I would have to figure out how to get there!

In addition to Hanson and Jason Mraz there were many other talented musicians and hundreds of talented kids in the SPARC program.  I ended up taking the train – 8 hours each way – instead of driving – 8 hours each way – because then I would have some WiFi and not have to focus on the road and could just relax.  On the way there – the toilets were out of order from just before Washington, DC until we made it to Richmond. (2-3 hours?)  On the way home – the WiFi went out pretty early and they weren’t able to reboot it.  Fortunately I had loaded up a lot of the reading for my grad school classes when I first got on the train so I had those available to read and also started the back log of some of my old blog posts.

Saturday night we decided to check out the Galaxy Diner and had an amazing chocolate malt and a sandwich.  We walked a bit around the area, found a soda & candy shop, checked out an ice cream shop and headed back to the hotel.  At 3:30am we got a wake up call from the “gas detection” on the wall – turns out it had a mute button, we pushed it, and went back to sleep not knowing if we’d be killed by gas or what was going on.

The next morning we headed off to a street fair called “Broad Apetit” that took place on Broad street.  We ended up getting Philly Cheese steak, Funnel Cake Fries and Fried Oreos.  Then it was time to head to the theater for the show.

The program of the show had the setlist for the evening – we were pleasantly surprised that Hanson would be doing 4 songs – and none were MMMBop! And that Jason would also be doing 4 songs.  Based on some of the rehearsal footage we saw, it seemed like Hanson would be featured in a few other songs, as well.

It’s hard to really describe the event, but it was absolutely amazing and I am so glad that I made the 16 hours round trip to be able to be there.  I Was Born had puppets included with the kids making them dance around and I am not sure I will ever be able to sit through a performance of that song again without puppets.  I hope a video of it surfaces (they were recording the whole show professionally and asked that we not record) because it was everything I never knew I needed.

After the show we waited for a bit for Hanson to come out, were told they had no plans to come out and went to get dinner.  As we walked back up from dinner a car pulled out “Do you think that’s them?” only to see all the fans walking out of the alley telling us we “just missed them”   Figures!!

 

Category: Concert, Hanson  Comments off

Hanson Day Tulsa 2019

Last month I made my 11th trip to Tulsa for a Hanson Members Only Event.  This one was a little bit different from the rest because we would get FOUR consecutive nights of music and I’d also be hitting my 200th show while there. :-O

I opted to try Westchester airport this time to see how things went not for a work trip.  The way there was perfect – I had a layover in Chicago and got to Tulsa without any problems. My room was ready when I arrived and was facing Main St – but was too far down to actually be able to see the Hop Jam stage from it.  I met up with some friends and we grabbed lunch and then went to the “pop up” registration that ended up happening.

Thursday morning we got in line early for the store – but still had to wait 4 hours.  I started feeling like I was going to pass out minutes before it was time for us to pay (an hour after placing our order!) but fortunately my friends were around to help me out and things were ok after that.  We ordered some lunch, headed to our volunteer shift and then it was time for the “Storytellers” show. I’m not sure they quite understand what “storytellers” means as they don’t often tell stories – but they did theme it to the Underneath Acoustic/Underneath tours since it is the 15th anniversary of that album this year.  And in a rare and special treat, Isaac ended up playing the cello on Underneath!   After the show it was time for karaoke but with both of us feeling less than stellar we weren’t able to make it through the full event. (And it was a lot more fun last year with Mac co-hosting)

Friday morning we got in line for group photos and then had time to actually get a meal before our Edible Digital Pants listening session.  After that we went to painting.  I wasn’t too thrilled with the painting chosen for us this year, and I’m not sure I would have bought tickets if I knew what it was going to be ahead of time but ended up having a lot of fun (once again) with the whole painting process.  After painting we went to Buck Atom’s on Route 66 and got our String Theory Galactic Space Sandwiches that were very good but perhaps a little bit too big of a serving.  That evening was the String Theory show and also my 200th show. I even made myself a brag sash for the occasion.  After the show we hit up Hurts Donuts and got their Peanut Butter Cup stuffed donut as well as a few others.  The peanut butter stuffed was underwhelming but I did enjoy a couple of the others we had gotten. Then we hit up the after party with DJ Taylor.  They were handing out heads of each of the band members on the way in and the song list was requested to Taylor in advance and I guess that was all that was needed to have a really fun time – we made it all the way to the end of the event! Woo! Maybe we’re not so old after all 😉

Saturday it was absolutely pouring rain and storming so we opted to skip going to the gallery.  I didn’t end up making it inside at all, sadly.  We had our Street Team Leaders lunch and then I had a volunteer shift until the Members Only Concert started.  Before the show the guys had their “state of the band” where they announced what would be coming up in the future for HANSON.  The big excitement was that they are working on not one but TWO new albums and hope to release them in 2020 and 2021.  The first album will hopefully get some preview shows later this year and then kick off one of their most comprehensive world tours.  Now I’m not so sad I can’t make it to Disney anymore because hopefully I will get to hit a few shows on this tour (and maybe another new state or two?)  After the show we skipped the Firkin Feast and just went to sleep early as Hop Jam was the next day and is exhausting.

Sunday we did our volunteer thing for Hop Jam and I wanted to check out most of the performers, and that I did.  Unfortunately the ADA section got combined with Music VIP and then once Hanson took the stage everyone stood.  I either had to sit there and be claustrophobic (not something I wanted to do with the near passing out/potential panic attack a couple days before) or attempt to stand for most of the show (also not ideal)  So I ended up standing up, taking a couple close up photos and heading over to Mexicali’s to sit along the wall.  Apparently I should have been saving my spot all day and not volunteering to ensure I was in the front of ADA.  Oh well, I’ll try better next year. Anyway… Phantom Planet had a surprise guest – Darren Criss from Glee – I knew he was a Hanson fan but apparently he is an even bigger Phantom Planet fan and had to come in to see their reunion show.  I had never seen PP before but thoroughly enjoyed them!

It was on Sunday we were realizing that the weather on Monday for our flights home was going to be BAD with the possibility of many tornadoes coming through.  My flight out was 3pm so we were just hoping that we could get out before the storms hit.  Fortunately we were able to get out – but when we landed in Charlotte, we had to deplane via the stairs.  I waited until the end and it was terrifying, fortunately I had a friend on the flight ready and willing to help me out.  She also made sure I got to my next gate.  I then realized that we would have to do stairs – AGAIN!  With no one to help me I said I wouldn’t be able to do the stairs so they said they would put a ramp up after everyone boarded.  No pre-boarding perks but fortunately there was still room for my bag when I got on and when we landed back in NY the ramp was up for *everyone* (as it should be!)  But we weren’t at a gate and there was no wheelchair so I had to lug my way too heavy on the day after Hop Jam backpack back to the terminal.  Not sure that I’ll be flying out of Westchester again for fear of that happening again or I’ll just have to be more demanding for assistance.

And it took me so long to put this review together, RSVP is already up for Hanson Day 2020!  I’m hoping to attend once again 🙂

 

 

Category: Concert, Hanson, Travel  Comments off

Hanson: Snowed In: Virginia

Hanson was scheduled to play the Uncorked and Unplugged event in Williamsburg, VA on December 9th.  At first I wasn’t going to attend because it was on a Sunday and 7-8 hours away, but my friend and I tried to figure out a plan and decided if we could get the VIP Meet & Greet tickets we would make it work.  After one of the most stressful ticket on sales that I have had to deal with in a while, the site crashed, we thought we may end up with multiple pairs of tickets and then finally finding a 30% off coupon that saved us some decent money our M&G tickets were confirmed!

About a week before the show, weather reports started saying that a storm might be coming through. We kept an eye on it and it moved south and we were only supposed to get rain in that area.  Then a couple days before it shifted again.  We headed to the Richmond, VA area the night before and the weather report said a dusting to 2 inches in Williamsburg, turning to rain.  Richmond was due for 4-8 inches.  With that information, we decided we could handle the trek and made our way to the winery.

Our tickets included a pre-show reception with champagne, oysters, a wine tasting and other snacks. I am not a wine fan but I did try a couple and was not impressed.  There was a string quartet playing a mix of Holiday tunes and pop hits (we walked in to them playing Taylor Swift. Yuck)  In addition to meeting Hanson we also got a M&G with Brynn Elliott, who I wasn’t sure any of her songs until she sang one during the show and I realized I had heard it on the radio.  The Hanson M&G was photos only and a quick hello, but we weren’t expecting anything more than that.

After the M&G we headed down to the tent where the concert would be held and waited for them to let us in – both times entering we were subject to incredibly intense security checks. It was not that easy to figure out where we needed to go for our seats – but we ended up making it to the front row.  Hanson had their acoustic set up so we were in front of Zac.

The “heated” tent was not that heated, I took my coat off for a bit just because it was soaking wet from being in the snow for 30 or so minutes waiting to be let inside, but ended up putting it back on for the rest of the show.  Heather Murphy was up first, I guess she is a local singer and did 1 original song and a whole ton of covers.  I kind of wondered why her set was so long, but it is what it is. (She did have a nice voice, I’m just not one to want to sit through a bunch of covers)  Brynn was up next – the radio station had to “stall” for 5 minutes before she was ready to take the stage and that was pure torture.  Her set seemed much shorter than Heather’s but was much more enjoyable.

Then it was time for HANSON!!! The set was a pretty generic festival set with most of the singles.  They did end up adding I Will Come To You based on the request of one of the radio DJs. (Who apparently asked them for it by the wrong name and Zac called her out on it before they started playing it.)  Near the end of the set, we could see a lot of commotion off to the side of the stage and then the guys were being yelled at to do just one more song – but they hadn’t gotten to MMMBop yet.  I did notice that the snow that was supposed to stop and turn to rain had not. (I always was told once the flakes started getting bigger it meant that the snow was going to stop soon – which was not the case.)  They ended up doing a shortened version of MMMBop and then Taylor was *determined* to fit in one more.  They were calling for the guys to come off the stage and it looked like they cut power to Taylor’s keyboard but he was still trying to play something.  In the end, they did White Christmas acapella and then told us we had to go because the tent had too much snow on it.  A lot of people came up front to try and get setlists, etc.  We were able to snap a photo of it just before one of Hanson’s crew got on stage and said we had to GO.  At that point I hadn’t turned around yet, and once I did I knew we had to get out ASAP because the roof was definitely being heavily weighed down by snow. We started throwing chairs out of the way to get out at that point since people were still blocking the way up front and got outside.  According to some of the radio DJs about 20 minutes later the back of the tent started to cave in.  We got to the car and started to clear it off and heat everything up and decide what we wanted to do.  It took us about an hour and a half just to get out of the grounds of the winery because cars were stuck, trees were down and the roads were a mess.  The dusting to 2 inches was more like 4 – and still coming down.

We decided to try and make it back to PA, but had a heck of a time once the GPS rerouted us off the highway and everywhere we went trees were down and the situation just was getting worse and worse the further we went.  Props to my friend who was able to navigate the roads and keep us safe – I am sure I would have had us in a ditch trying to weave around the trees. (And we did see a car just like mine in a ditch at one point.) After being forced to turn around because of a tree only to go back the way we came to be met with ANOTHER tree, we didn’t know what to do. Visions of being stuck on that road for the night in the snow were dancing around in my head. Fortunately 2 angels were in the cars in front of us and were able to pull the tree down so we could pass.  We stopped at a gas station to use the facilities and regroup – and decided the best thing to do was to turn around and go back to Williamsburg.  We had gone 20 miles in 2 hours and still had 30 miles to go to get back to the highway – and head to the Richmond area which had a FOOT of snow.

I booked a room at a Holiday Inn via the app… only to arrive and be told they didn’t have our reservation and that they were fully booked. (And then I was charged as a “no show” – how you gonna charge me for a room that didn’t even exist? But a refund is in the works now – they had no internet access to connect with the app system so the app didn’t know they were full to not allow me to book.)  We ended up calling a Hampton Inn and they had a room and power – apparently half the town lost power.  I’m not surprised, all the trees were getting weighed down and I’m sure many a tree came down on a power line.  We made it to the hotel, and the next morning everything was much, much easier to navigate and we made it home in good time.  Instead of working from the office a half day I worked from my friends place and ended up making great time back home as well. (So glad I have an understanding boss!)

Hindsight is 20/20 – I’m sure there are a lot of things we would have done differently had we known that the forecast was going to be so off base.  I am sure that the winery, event coordinators and radio stations would have as well.  And I am sure that if Taylor knew the tent was going to start caving in 20 minutes later (just before their set was supposed to end) he wouldn’t have fought so hard to try and squeeze in one last song. By the time we realized the snow was out of control – it was way too late to move on to a plan B.  I am just glad we ended up safe, were able to maneuver the car when it almost got stuck and didn’t end up stuck overnight in the snow on a road barricaded in by trees.  Things were not ideal, but things could have been so much worse.

Category: Concert, Hanson  One Comment